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Bound by the Banners

The purple streaks cut through a hazy Monday morning at Marlborough. Photo by Remy.

It was an average Monday morning on the bus: the sky was cloudy, I was grumpy from lack of caffeine, and the seventh graders were screaming like banshees. The bus rocked precariously from side to side, and all I wanted was solid ground. As we pulled up to school, I glanced briefly up at the building before grabbing my bags. And then I saw them. The purple banners hung like the triumphant flags of a crusading army. A crusading army that stood for “Honor, Community, Excellence, and Confidence.”  There was a collective groan from the passengers of our rickety little school bus. Discussion quickly ensued about the new additions to the school’s decor. The collective response? The banners were just another layer on Marlborough’s cake of perpetual pride.

Much like its students, Marlborough has a tendency towards the dramatic. Take, for example, the flamboyant flag raising on the first day of school. I wanted to cry out with frustration, “It’s a school, not a country!”

I think I speak for most of the student body when I say that we know what our values are; we do not need to have them hung from the side of a building. Maybe what we should really display for the prospective parents and other visitors are students’ less obvious values: exhaustion, stress, the Ivy League and Cafe M.

Frankly, the banners are a little taunting. How can they possibly expect us to be excellent when we haven’t washed our hair in three days? How can we be confident when we have less makeup on than a ten-year-old boy?  How can anyone expect a sense of community when we are all huddled in a state of private panic over that essay that’s due in exactly fourteen minutes?

 These purple streamers were created with the best of intentions. However, I firmly believe that even if it doesn’t show on the outside, Marlborough girls are constantly mindful of their values. That’s why we work so hard; we want to embody our beliefs on a day-to-day basis.

 I suppose one could argue that our sheer lack of sleep may occasionally make us forgetful (at least that’s what I told my mom about my last Chemistry test), but we’ve had these mottos pounded into our skull so effectively that I think hanging them at the front of the school is like putting braces on a perfectly straight set of teeth. On second thought, though, my orthodontist says that if I don’t wear my retainer every night, my teeth will go back to being crooked